fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Anderson MalySA" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 01:25:49 -0700
Subject: PERSONAL LETTER TO YOU ??
"PLEASE THIS MUST REMAIN A SECRET"
I am Hon. Dr. Anderson Maly, an Ivory Coast citizen(a politician and also the former special adviser to ministry of interior in Ivory Coast having worked with former President Laurent Gbagbo.)
I am very sure, that you're aware of the political crisis which took place in my country.
As a special adviser to the ministry of interior in my country, I was empowered to oversee all our's minerals resources. However because of the political crisis in my country Ivory Coast(Cote- d'Ivoire), I decided to use the opportunity in taking hold of this $64.6 million dollars for an immediate investment in your country or any other country you deem necessary and safe.
However I am seeking your kind assistance to assist me receive, secure and invest the above mentioned fund wisely on lucrative investments under your supervision. I've already moved the fund through a diplomatic means to a safe place where it is presently kept for the purpose of safety and final relocation.
I am willing to give you 40% of the total money for your full assistance and participation. Meanwhile I'll be interested to have you as my friend, and also a business partner, if only you can assure me that you're trustworthy.
Presently I'm in the U.K with my family where we seek for an political asylum under the umbrella of British government. I considered this move with my family very wise and necessary for our safety. As you may have known, only recently Mr. Bruno Dogbo, former Laurent Gbagbo's military commander, was given 15 years jail sentence for post election voilence, hence we are safe here and it is my intention to quickly move my family out of this place as soon as this deal is successfully executed.
I thank you very much for taking time to go through my mail, and hope to read from your reply soon. Please if you are not interested kindly inform me. Be rest assured that there is no risk in this business the only thing I require from you now is your honest co-operation and assistance.
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and my regards to your family. Feel free to contact me.
Hon.(Dr) Anderson Maly(SA).